Tag Archives: Ashoka Chakra Award

Dear Neerja, salute your Courage, Compassion and Commitment! Keep Inspiring!

May be you know her!  

May be you know her unknowingly! 

Because, you may have her in you!


I came to know about her recently….thanks to the movie Neerja! Later, I tried to know her a bit more, and bit more….she just amazed me!

A girl born in Chandigarh, brought up in Mumbai and grown to a great human to inspire many!neerja_poster_wiki_fairusage

People can talk about presence of mind, courage and compassion. However, when the real situation comes, many forget or get puzzled.

In case, if you face a situation where you may be killed at any moment, how can you care many fellow human and be compassionate? Rather, we tend to save self!

She never did speeches on courage, compassion and commitment, but when she was put into the real situation in front of guns and terrorists…Oh, salute you – You saved 359 lives out of 379 on board passengers on Pan Am Flight 73. 

You had chances to leave behind some of them and still save you…but..

….. finally you gave your life at a very young age of 22….to save 3 American Children!



For her bravery, the Government of India posthumously awarded Neerja Bhanot,  Ashoka Chakra Award, India’s highest gallantry award for bravery in the face of the enemy during peace time. She is the youngest recipient and the first woman recipient of this award

 "Her loyalties to the passengers of the aircraft 
in distress will forever be a lasting tribute
to the finest qualities of the human spirit."


You showed the world, the power and value of a young woman...what she can do even when the guys ran away from the scene! You left everlasting inspiration to many.

I am sure, those 3 children, now youngsters would have imbibed you as their guiding light…

Even when you were dying, you conveyed a message ‘Keep Smiling….’

Yes let’s keep smiling and keep you (Courage,Compassion and Commitment) in our heart and brain.

Thank you for saving so many lives,

Thank you for making us proud,

Thank you for that inspiring smile…


Neerja Bhanot (7 September 1963 – 5 September 1986) : References/More Info:

  • Bought the book “The Neerja I Knew” written by her brother ( Collection of various sharing from  people about her ) [You can get from http://www.amazon.in/Neerja-Knew-First-2016/dp/8192901793 or search in internet]
  • Through this book, you can know her better
  • Summary on her bravery:
    • Neerja Bhanot was the senior flight purser on Pan Am Flight 73, hijacked by four armed terrorists as it headed out of Mumbai, and landed at Karachi en route to Frankfurt and onward to New York City. Despite being tackled, she helped the three-member cockpit crew to escape. In the following 17-hour ordeal, she hid the passports of the passengers on the flight so that the hijackers could not differentiate between American and Non-American citizens. Eventually, she opened the emergency door, flung out a rescue chute and assisted a number of passengers escape from the flight, while she died shielding three children from bullets fired by the terrorists.
  • She got awards for her bravery, commitment and compassion:
    • Ashoka Chakra 1987, India
    • Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat (for showing incredible human kindness)
    • Flight Safety Foundation Heroism Award 1987, United States[28]
      Justice for Crimes Award 2005, United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, United States
    • Special Courage Award 2006, United States Department of Justice, United States
    • Civil Aviation Ministry Award 2011, India
    • Bharat Gaurav Award presented at the House of Commons, UK Parliament on July 2, 2016
  • Detailed info at her wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neerja_Bhanot
  • Pictures: From wiki page (fair use license)